Wednesday, May 16, 2018


Architect's rendering of Louisiana Downs Racetrack
Bossier Chamber of Commerce Collection 1998.047.211
Here at the History Center we recently needed information about the race track that was in Bossier Parish before Louisiana Downs. The January 25, 1973 issue of The Bossier Press provided just what we needed about the race track.

“Sawyer Downs Racetrack officials announced Tuesday that the track site will be relocated to a 291 acre site just outside and east of Bossier City.”

“The groundbreaking on the new location will be held on Feb. 20, according to John Wolcott, president of Sawyer Downs, Inc., and he also said the name will be changed to Louisiana Downs.”

“‘We have submitted this change of location to the State Racing Commission for its approval,’ Wolcott said. ‘Concurrently we have requested the State Racing Commission’s approval to change the name of our racing facility to Louisiana Downs, which we feel will be more appropriate or the expanded facility we will construct.’ “

“The racetrack’s former site was on the Benton Road near the Bossier Parish Courthouse, but it was said to be too inaccessible for traffic. The state program to widen Hwy. 3 to Benton from Bossier City was indefinitely delayed.”

"The new location will be centered in an area bounded by Hwy. 80, I-22, I-20 and Red Chute Bayou.”

“About the new site Wolcott stated, ‘Although this requires a significant additional capital investment on our part, we believe the benefits to the state, the Parish of Bossier, and to the racing industry are overriding.’ “

Louisiana Downs officially opened on October 30, 1974. More information about the race track can be found at the Bossier Parish Library History Center.

By: Ann Middleton

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